Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lesson to Learn

While we all pray for each other that one should not come across
any obstacle in life, I have a different view after read the

We must come across obstacles and need to pray for each other to overcome obstacles (with some pain) and progress.

One night recently my son was showing me an aquarium full of tadpoles. She had purchased a whole bag full of them for her children to watch grow from tadpoles into frogs. It was fun watching all of those little wiggly creatures swimming around in the aquarium! It brought back many fond memories of my own childhood, playing with "critters" down at my grandparent' s house.

I noticed that there was a big rock in the aquarium. When I asked her why she put a rock right in the middle of the tadpoles'
environment, she told me an interesting story. I can hardly believe that I have lived all these years without having heard it. It is so good and "life-essence saturated."

He said that she was instructed by the Pet Store Salesman to be
sure to "put a big rock right in the middle of the aquarium." He
explained that "the tadpoles must have this obstacle to give them the incentive to climb up and thus split their little wiggly tails so that their legs can begin to develop. If they have no rock or obstacle to climb up on, they will never turn into frogs. They cannot learn how to hop by just swimming around in water. They must have something causing resistance to give them the incentive to leap forward.

The man went on to tell him that last year a school teacher came back to the store and complained because none of her tadpoles had ever turned into frogs. she had put all of them in an aquarium and let them swim around but they never became frogs. He asked her if she had put a big obstacle, like a rock, in the middle of the aquarium. She said that she had not. She did not know that a tadpole will remain a tadpole unless it faces some obstacle or barrier that forces it to grow. Neither did I, but it makes perfect sense.

So, my son was excited to show me all of the tadpoles
swimming around the rock. In time, they will begin to try to climb up it and eventually they will make the transformation into a more fully mature creature.

Well, I was amazed and delighted to hear that story. It helped me better to see, once again, why life presents obstacles and barriers in front of us. The barriers are not there to hinder us, but they are there to cause us to grow. It is not so much what the object is in front of each one of us that matters as much as it is our attitude towards it. If we realize that the obstacle we are facing is really a gift that has come our way to help us grow and mature, we will be much more likely to face it in a positive manner.

Since I watched those tadpoles the other night and saw the big
rock in their aquarium, I have begun to see the obstacles I face in a different way. Instead of being rocks in my path, those obstacles have become stepping stones to help me leap forward in whatever situation I find myself.

I know that those little tadpoles have no idea what is going on.
They just are not that smart. The truth of the matter is, neither are we. Most of us have no idea what all is going on in our lives either. We don't understand that the barriers and obstacles, challenges, difficulties and hard times that come our way each day are actually there for a purpose. There is no way we will have the incentive to grow, or to become better, or to strive harder, if everything in life is just a simple situation. I know the harder I work at anything, the more profitable it is for me, not only financially, but personally, in my own heart and character as well.

So, the next time you see a frog hopping around, smile at him and thank him for the lesson, remembering the struggle he has gone through to get where he is. Perhaps out in the wild somewhere, he faced a difficult rock or barrier in his life, but rather than swimming away from it, he just crawled up on it and began to develop his personal strength until he eventually matured to become the frog that you see hopping around.

Moral: Remember... Obstacles are there to help you...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Rules for Excellent Retail Customer Service !

21 Rules for Excellent Retail Customer Service that we share with the participants in our courses. Most of them are not that hard to follow. However, they can be hard to follow consistently.

If you work with customers in retail, take a look at the list and ask yourself how closely you follow the rules.

1. Smile when greeting a customer in person and on the phone (and yes, they can tell if you are smiling over the telephone!).
2. Use age-appropriate greetings, and avoid referring to older customers and women as "guys."
3. Be proactive and ask how you may be of service.
4. Stay visible and available, but don't hover.
5. Don't turn away, walk away, start to make a phone call, or duck beneath the counter as a customer approaches. (We've all had it happen to us.)
6. The live customer standing in front of you takes precedence over someone who calls on the phone.
7. Never judge a book by its cover--all customers deserve attention regardless of their age or appearance.
8. Leave food and beverages in the break room.
9. A customer doesn't want to hear about your upcoming break.
10. Makes any personal calls when you're on a break and out of earshot.
11. The correct answer is never "I don't know" unless you add to it, "but I can find out for you."
12. If a customer wants something that isn't on display, go to the stock room and try to find it.
13. If the item isn't in the stock room, offer to call another store or order it.
14. Learn to read body language to see if a customer could use some help.
15. Don't let chatty customers monopolize your time if others are waiting.
16. Call for backup support if lines are forming.
17. Be discrete if a customer's credit card is declined by asking if there is another method of payment he or she would like to use.
18. Never discuss customers in front of other customers (they'll wonder what you're saying about them once they leave).
19. Inspect merchandise before bagging it to make sure it's not defective or the wrong size.
20. Make sure customers receive everything they've paid for before they leave your store.
21. Smile as you are saying goodbye and encourage the customer to come again